Sunday, July 30, 2006

Nigel Lee (1946-2006)

Nigel Lee: loving the lost, passionate for Christ, 1946-2006

The link is to the obituary of my friend Nigel Lee in the May 2006 issue of the magazine Evangelicals Now. Nigel and I were at university together in the late 1960s, and became close friends after I became a Christian in 1966. We were at the same college (Trinity), though reading different subjects (he read English, I read Mechanical Sciences). Both of us were active in the CICCU (Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union) and in Operation Mobilisation, to which we were introduced in the summer of 1967. We both attended the Open Brethren meeting at Roseford Hall in Cambridge, which was where both of us were baptized as believers in the Spring term of 1967.

Nigel went on eventually to become one of the foremost evangelists and Bible teachers in Great Britain, and was frequently in demand as a speaker at University Missions and Christian conventions.

He is now eternally with the Lord Jesus Christ whom he loved and served so well.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Not everyone agrees on climate change!

The idea everyone agrees on climate change is a fallacy

This personal column by Ruth Lea in the Telegraph Business section today (2006-05-01) should be a firm reminder to gullible Archbishops and other feeble-minded Christians that the alarmist news headlines about man-made global warming are without sufficient warrant. It's all down to natural statistical variations! Ruth Lea concludes with a statement from Dr Dennis Bray that "the dissenters are in a healthy majority".

I'm content to be counted among the dissenters.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

When weaknesses occur?

"Weaknesses occur, as always, when men fail to work out the full implications of what they believe, and also when they fail to understand what it is that they are actually doing."
F.R. Coad, A History of the Brethren Movement,
Exeter : Paternoster Press (1968) ISBN 0853640858.
Second edition (1976) ISBN 0853641641.
Modern reprint: Vancouver : Regent College (2001) ISBN 1573831832.

I first read this book by Frederick Roy Coad over 33 years ago, and coming to this quotation towards the end of his work, I was so impressed by the wisdom of these words that I copied them into my journal. The sub-title of the book about the Christian Brethren was "its origins, its worldwide development and its significance for the present day".

Although this summing up remark had a particular relevance to the subject he was writing about 38 years ago, I thought then, and continue to think today, that it has a much wider application to all manner of circumstances in the sphere of religious faith and practice. Ponder these words deeply, and see what it might mean for you to avoid the same kinds of failure he was writing of.

Isn't it the duty of every thinking Christian to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" ? (Phil. 2:12b,13).

Saturday, April 15, 2006

200 years ago in Kabul, Afghanistan

The recent news about Abdul Rahman the Afghan Christian who was sentenced to death in Kabul for apostasy from Islam has prompted me to do something which I've been meaning to do for some time.

There is an almost forgotten story about a remarkable series of events that began about two hundred years ago in Kabul, relating to the coming to faith in Jesus Christ of one of two friends who were traveling through Asia after their pilgrimage to Mecca.

The story begins like this:
SABAT was the son of Ibrahim Sabat, of a noble family in Arabia, who trace their pedigree to Mahomed. Abdallah was his intimate friend., and also a young man of good family. They agreed to travel together, and to visit foreign countries. Both were zealous Mahomedans. Accordingly, after paying their adorations at the tomb of their prophet, they left Arabia, travelled through Persia, and thence to Cabul. Abdallah was appointed to an office of state under the king of Cabul, and Sabat leaving him there, proceeded on a tour through Tartary.

While Abdallah remained at Cabul, he was converted to the Christian faith by the perusal of a Bible belonging to an Armenian Christian, then residing at Cabul; for the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. In Mahomedan countries it is death for a man of rank to become a Christian. Abdallah endeavoured, for a time, to conceal his conversion; but finding it no longer possible, he determined to flee to some of the Christian Churches near the Caspian Sea. He, accordingly, left Cabul in disguise, and had gained the great city of Bochara in Tartary, when he was met in the streets of that city by his friend Sabat, who immediately recognized him. Sabat had heard of his conversion and flight, and was filled .with indignation at his conduct. Abdallah knew his danger, and threw himself at the feet of Sabat. He confessed that he was a Christian, and implored him by the sacred tie of their former friendship to let him escape with his life. “But, sir,” said Sabat, when relating the story, “I had no pity. I caused my servants to seize him, and I delivered him up to Morad Shah, king of Bochara. He was sentenced to die, and a herald went through the city announcing the time of his execution. An immense multitude attended, and the chief men of the city. I also went and stood near to Abdallah. He was offered his life if he would abjure Christ, the executioner standing by him with his sword in his hand. ‘No,’ said he, ‘I cannot abjure Christ.’ Then one of his hands was cut off at the wrist. He stood firm, his arm hanging by his side, but with little motion. A physician, by desire of the king, offered to heal the wound if he would recant. He made no answer but looked stedfastly towards heaven, like Stephen the first martyr, his eyes streaming with tears. He did not look with anger towards me. He looked at me, but it was benignly, and with the countenance of forgiveness. His other hand was then cut off. “But, sir,” said Sabat in his imperfect English, “he never changed, - he never changed. And when he bowed his head to receive the stroke, all Bochara seemed to say, What new thing is this?”
For the full story of what happened afterwards in Sabat's own life, go to the article Sabat the Arabian, by Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813-43) now posted on my website.

For news about how you can help Christian believers facing pressure from Islamic societies and governments, please visit the website of the Barnabas Fund.

Meanwhile also, please continue to pray for those Afghan Christians today who unlike Abdul Rahman are not able to find asylum in a foreign country like Italy, but who face the continued danger of being persecuted inside Afghanistan, away from the eyes of reporters and the world media.

Note: The original spellings have been retained in the article by M'Cheyne. Bochara in this story is modern day Bukhara in Uzbekistan.

Care not Killing

Care not Killing

Care NOT Killing is a UK-based alliance of individuals and organisations which brings together human rights groups, healthcare groups, palliative care groups and faith-based organisations with the aims of:

1. Promoting more and better palliative care
2. Ensuring that existing laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are not weakened or repealed during the lifetime of the current Parliament
3. Influencing the balance of public opinion further against any weakening of the law

Please visit it soon and sign their petition against Lord Joffe's Bill - that seeks to legalise assisted suicide.

The Evangelical Library e-books project

There was a media release about the launch of this project in January 2006. I'd like anyone visiting this blog to become aware of this useful study resource.

The Evangelical Library e-books project

From the Aims page:
The development of the internet has been a change in global communications as significant as the development of the printing press. It is our desire to use modern technology as a tool to further the Kingdom of Christ on earth. We believe that the Evangelical Library contains a wealth of wisdom from the past for Christians of this generation.

The e-books project is seeking to make this wisdom accessible for Christians world wide in a way that allows rapid discovery of the relevant sections of the text on the one hand and a full preservation of the original document in image format on the other.

Our long term goal is to provide an electronic library which will supplement the physical libraries of pastors around the world. We aim to integrate this material so that relevant passages are quickly provided for any passage of scripture.

We aim to aid pastors around the world as they seek to "Make disciples of every nation... teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you.".

Note: The project is open to all, not just to members of the Evangelical Library!

Monday, March 13, 2006

SAS soldier quits Army in disgust at 'illegal' American tactics in Iraq

Telegraph | News | SAS soldier quits Army in disgust about Iraq

Thank God for such an honourable British soldier!
Visit the Telegraph online to read the full story.

See also
Telegraph | News |
'I didn't join the British Army to conduct American foreign policy'
- his first interview since being honourably discharged from the Army last year.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Encyclopedia Puritannica Project

The Encyclopedia Puritannica Project (EPP) is an inter-denominational federation of Christians who are committed to the orthodox truths of Scripture. They believe these truths to be well understood, articulated, and applied by the Puritans and other Reformed teachers—both past and present. Many of their works have been forgotten by the modern church and have thus become practically inaccessible. It is their desire to see these works, among the best in the history of Christendom, go forth to the nations once again. This project, begun in 1998, is dedicated to the accomplishment of this task.
I have just made a brief visit to this site, which looks promising as a potential resource for pastors and other Christian leaders and students. The CD contents are listed on the web-site, so it's easy to see what you'd get if you paid the $99.95 for version 3. There are works by 112 authors ranging from Archibald Alexander to Thomas Witherow. Testimonials are somewhat sparse! There's only one so far.

Friday, January 06, 2006

"What About Revelation 20?

Article by Dr Cornelis P. Venema.

Not often would one post a blog by quoting first from the last footnote of an article, but this web-page was found by searching for the exact phrase, "premillennial diplopia".
5. Perhaps this is the place to mention a phrase coined by Jay Adams in his criticism of Premillennialism. Adams uses the phrase ‘premillennial diplopia’ to describe the double-vision that often characterizes its reading of Scripture in general and the book of Revelation in particular. Because differing visions that describe the same history and events are read as though they described different events in sequence, a doubling occurs (two second comings of Christ or victories at the end of the age, two resurrections, etc.). See Jay Adams, The Time Is At Hand, pp. 17-40.
The main article by Cornelis P. Venema is entitled, "What about Revelation 20?". He expounds the structured view of the book of Revelation as championed by William Hendriksen. His first section is headed, "The Millennium is now", so you can see that it's written from an amillennial perspective.

Jay Adams' phrase "premillennial diplopia" was one of the triggers that set me on my journey away from dispensationalism in the 1970s.